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Committees Sessions 1, 2 & 3

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8th Meeting, 2006 (Session 2)

Wednesday 8 March 2006


Sarah Boyack (Convener)
Rob Gibson
Maureen Macmillan 
Nora Radcliffe
Elaine Smith

Mr Ted Brocklebank
Richard Lochhead
Mr Alasdair Morrison
Mr Mark Ruskell (Deputy Convener)

The meeting opened at 10.06 am.

  1. Item in private:  The Committee agreed to take item 4 in private.

  2. Inquiry into developments in the biomass industry: The Committee took evidence from—

    Panel 1
    Elaine Hanton, Senior Renewable Energy Manager, Highlands and Inlands Enterprise;
    Ken MacDonald, Head of Economic Development, Perth and Kinross Council;
    Audrey Martin, Senior Development/Planning Officer, Argyll and Bute Council;

    Panel 2
    Dr James Pendlebury, Business Policy Adviser;
    Rebecca Carr, Wood Fuel Project Officer;
    Richard Earle, Business Units Sustainability Project Officer, Forestry Commission Scotland;

    Panel 3
    Rhona Brankin MSP, Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development;
    Dr Bob McIntosh, Director, Forestry Commission Scotland; and
    Christine McKay, Renewables and Consents Policy Unit, Scottish Executive.

  3. Subordinate legislation: The Committee considered the following negative instruments—

    the Foot-and-Mouth Disease (Slaughter and Vaccination) (Scotland) Regulations 2006, (SSI 2006/45);

    the TSE (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2006, (SSI 2006/46); and

    the Sea Fish (Prohibited Methods of Fishing) (Firth of Clyde) Order 2006, (SSI 2006/51).

    The Committee agreed to defer consideration of SSI 2006/45 and to take evidence on the instrument at its next meeting from the Deputy Minister for Environment and Rural Development.

    The Committee agreed, being content with SSI 2006/46 and SSI 2006/51, to make no recommendation to the Parliament on these instruments. The Committee also agreed to write to the Minister for Environment and Rural Development seeking further information on a number of points raised during discussion of SSI 2006/51.

  4. Crofting Reform etc. Bill (in private): The Committee considered its approach to the Bill at Stage 1 and agreed:
  • a proposed programme of evidence, subject to approval by the Conveners’ Group and the Parliamentary Bureau;

  • to delegate to the Convener authority to consider any claims for witness expenses arising from this programme; and

  • to write to the Minister for Environment and Rural Development to seek further information on the impact of the Bill on equal opportunities issues and on sustainable development.

The meeting closed at 12:50 pm.

Mark Brough
Clerk to the Committee